Brown Shugga' | Lagunitas Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
90
outstanding
1,515 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,515
Ratings:
5,360
Avg:
4
pDev:
21%
 
 
Wants:
276
Gots:
1,154
For Trade:
13
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.99%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 12-13-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,515 | Ratings: 5,360
Photo of mckdebbie1
4.29/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

I hated this beer at first. Hated it so much that 5 of the 6 sat in the beer fridge for over a year. I thought I could pass it off on someone eventually. And after awhile, like deciding to have a second child, I couldn't remember what was so awful about having the 1st, I said "sure, let's try this again". I am glad I did. The sugars must have eaten away at everything I found so unpleasant the first go around. Aging really helped this one and now I am sad I only have 4 left.

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Photo of Slowjamcdub
3.25/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This one will throw you for a loop on first taste lol. Shugga over load! Yeah still trying to figure out if I really like it or just like the 10% alc lol. But for real it's good it's a nice sipper. Remember it's really sweet!

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Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Comes in a clear, fizzy amber color with a generous, creamy, beige head. Sheets of lacing are left down the sides of the glass.
The aroma offers caramel, molasses, pine, plums, candied orange peel, cherries, and dried apricots.
On the palate, you get a nicely balanced malt sweetness. Lots of caramel, molasses, and toasted bread. Near the finish you get dark fruits; red cherries, plums, figs, and dried apricots. The finish is mostly caramelized sugar sweet, but with some balancing pine, and a light alcohol warmth.
The mouthfeel is medium-full, medium-light carbonation, and smooth and creamy.

Good stuff. It tastes very similar to a barleywine. Less complex, but maybe more drinkable. Another winner from Lagunitas.

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Photo of HopHunter19
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - nice big beer with amber/reddish color body and a huge white head that leaves nice lacing
S - caramel, orange, peach, vanilla, butterscotch, slight mustiness/old ale/oxidized quality
T - caramel, orange, grapefruit, peach, slight mustiness/old ale/oxidized quality
M - heavy, alcohol covered, aftertaste is orange rind, caramel, musty strong ale
O - good beer, definitely rivals bigfoot in my book, will cellar and see how it does

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a sunburnt orange with a one-finger, fluffy head that dissipates quickly. A little carbonation. Lots of lacing.
Smells of grapefruit and candied hop.
Bitter brown sugar candied, citrus hop taste. The bitter hop hangs around for a little while.
Mouthfeel of a medium bodied ale which really gets toe salivary glands going. this is good, but not as good as Sucks.

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Photo of MeanMotaScootah
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

If you like sweet and big - you'll love this beer. There is a mild fig mixed with whiskey aroma but beyond that it's very malty. It has a very creamy mouth feel with a ton of cherry caramel on the front end and a mellow sweet finish. There is very little hops in the beer. The alcohol is nicely hidden (much like many of the big beers that Lagunitas puts out) so be careful with this one - it drinks like an amber but will take you down like a Tripel. I almost think if they made this with a Belgium yeast it would taste very Belgium. It's a great beer for the style.

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Photo of Myotus
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured at 50°F from a 12oz bottle (2015 release) into a snifter. Consumed on 28Feb16.
LOOK: Pours with a fingers worth of khaki foam that dissipates into a line within 45 seconds. Copper in color with a slight amount of cloudiness. Rising bubbles are medium in size and moderate in quantity. There is an abundance of small, grayish white particles floating throughout the beer. I'm not sure what they are. Lacing is thin and subtle.
SMELL: Strong aromas of molasses, tree nuts, plums, figs, and black cherries entangle with mild leather, caramel, sweet bread, and brown sugar aromas along with subtle hop aromas of pine, oranges, tangerines, and grapefruit.
TASTE: Strong molasses, fig, plum, and black cherry flavors first enter into to the palate. Mild hop flavors of orange, tangerine, and grapefruit immediately follow and bring balance to the sweetness. Mild caramel and brown sugar and subtle leather flavors further unveil the taste profile. Subtle flavors of tree nuts, vanilla (that wasn't in the aroma), piney hops, and bitter hops enter lastly as all previous flavors persist.
FEEL: Full-bodied and subtly carbonated. Goes down smooth and creamy. Finishes very dry. A mild and welcoming alcoholic warmth can be felt as it goes down the throat.
NOTE: A great beer for being one that is massed produced and distributed. This reminded me of an American Barleywine, without the intense hop flavors. Everything was nice a balanced here.

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Photo of Beginner2
3.65/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It was very hard for me to like this beer the first time I had it.
The hops grabbed ahold of my tongue and would not let go... in fact, I was worried I might not get my tastebuds back.
Determined not to buy this again, this wild stallion rears its head again in a 6 pack brought as a gift by a neighbor who we invited over for dinner.
Then, Brown Shugga' sits in my cellar for a year; thinking we might get along better if it has time to mellow.
I drank it last night and. speechless, could not write a review.
Nor could I finish it. Nor would I pour it down the drain out of respect to everyone who likes this beer.
So, I let it sit overnight in an uncovered tulip.
I had a sip first thing in the AM before I made my coffee.
Brown Shugga' was better... but still not good for me.
Moral of the story: mellowing with age is a relative thing.

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Photo of dee4maine
4.53/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

what a great bargain Strong ale. drink it fresh or age it, either way one is in for a treat of caramel, malt, spiciness, tangerine hint, molasses. mouthfeel is very appropriate and makes the flavor linger.

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Photo of zshaft
4.19/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

pours dark reddish transparent and clean. two finger head dissipates after few minutes. aromas of sweet candy and malt. medium body with mild carbonation. front palate of some biscut followed quickly by a sweet cherry taste and little malt sweetness quickly followed by some resinous hops maybe some orange rind in there and a slight alcohol tinge. this is a great beer in one of my favorite styles. alcohol is well hidden and sweetness is balanced out with plenty of good hops. I get this every year and will continue to do so.

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Photo of akolb
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice copper with a white head. Smells of caramel malts and hops. Wow, this beer has a nice taste! Sweet, fruity, complex, malty, orange marmalade, with a bitter finish. A fair amount of alcohol burn. Nice and full-bodied. A great, unique beer.

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Photo of Hat_Fulla_Beer
4.14/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle poured into tulip to celebrate my survival of another bike ride home on the icy sidewalks of Edmonton.

Pours a deep, slightly hazy copper-orange with half a finger of light khaki head that leaves under-construction city skyline lace as it recedes.

Smells of big caramel malt, stewed citrus fruit, tropical fruit, toast with brown sugar and a lot of perfumed, piney hops.

Tastes of spiced orange preserve, roasted caramel malt, raw brown sugar, raisin tarts and more bitter piney hops.

Feels big and sturdy. Full bodied with creamy and supportive carbonation. Finishes dry

Verdict: Highly recommended. It won't tickle your sweet tooth, though.

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Photo of stompilator
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz. glass into a snifter.

A - Pours a deep amber, frothy off-white head.

S - Caramel, burnt sugar.

T - A big, complex malt profile comes right out the gate. Starting as a heavy, toasty caramel, the malt flavor becomes more layered and reminiscent of a doppelbock in its sweetness, toastiness, biscuit notes, and viscosity. An earthy, spicy, slightly berry-like hop character near the back end of the palate along with a subtle boozy bite. Finish is sweet, and surprisingly bitter.

M - Full-bodied, not too heavy for such a sweet beer.

O - Somewhere between a Winter Warmer, Doppelbock, and Barleywine, this is a thought-provoking, unique beer.

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Photo of dacrza1
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

DATE TASTED: January 30, 2016... GLASSWARE: Maudite snifter... OCCASION: helping Shan chop food for a new dish and preparing to show the boys The Desolation of Smaug... APPEARANCE: slightly opaque, sparsely bubbly amber orange brown body... the head is off-white, thick and chunky to begin... then it settles to an erratic, uneven heap of bubbles, soap and clouds--frankly, a surprise for a beer that sports a 9.8 % ABV... AROMA: a blast of raw sugray sweetness, coats the usual suspects in the hop bomb that Lagunitas lights--I sense Citra, the Columbus, the garlic of Summit... being a barleywine, the maltiness is a powerfully sweet, nondescript monolith of bread loaf... PALATE: heavy, slightly syrupy... active at the teeth and equally animated at the end... a force to be reckoned with... TASTE: dank, earthy, resinous and deeply infused with the sugary sweetness of cane; fewer floral notes of which to speak, and the malts solidify a forceful, meal-of-a-glass to experience... offers up a side dish of vegetable overtones, including prune and green bean... OVERALL: Having had--and enjoyed--the Sucks as a substitute, this presents an altogether heavier, sweeter, demanding version of its substitute--just what a barleywine should do...the overall drinking experience is sippable, stoic and contemplative...drinking into dinner,t the beer complimented a skillet comprised of chicken, potatoes, onions, mushrooms, brussel sprouts, and bacon... quite a victory in that consideration....

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

L: brilliantly clear deep amber liquid, huge frothy tuft of amber-tinged creme-colored foam, sticking all over... looks lovely!

S: west coast barleywine hops and malt... hints of pine, black pepper, and mint, but full of spice, grapefruit, lemon/lime... little bit of cigarette ash... with a name 'Brown Shugga', I'd prefer to be smelling more of it

T: the hops combined with the up front booze make for a citrus eau de vie light grappa, or something... soft, brown malts lingering in the aftertaste as well as medicinal esters and fading, vaguely herbal bitterness... no bottle date, but this shows some age on the hops (and bready malt)... not much richness in the malt, so despite the smell suggesting something akin to Bigfoot, it's very much (late) hop forward and somewhat drier than expected

F: between the fossilizing hop resins, ostensible dextrins, and generous swells of ethanol, this is a majorly smooth

O: yeah, I wasn't a huge fan of this years ago (actually, this beer almost immediately turned me off to Lagunitas, for years) when I first tried it and time and experience hasn't made me appreciate it more... this is one of those west coast beers that's hopped out of balance for the sake of it and hasn't a distinct identity, despite the name 'Brown Shugga' on the label touting

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Photo of 11-52_4hops
4.36/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Caveat - just got done shoveling snow, so might be a bit of a pro-bold brew bias. So be it.
Clear copper color. Reasonable head with some lacing. Strong malt and hops nose. Taste is a pleasant assault of malt, brown sugar, and heavy. The sweetness and the bitterness work very well here. I really like this beer -- has me hoping for more snow so I can earn another couple. Bonus .25 for Lagunitas fun to read labels.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lagunitas Brown Shugga has a medium, cream-colored head, a clear, bubbly, copper appearance, and a good amount of bubble streams. The aroma is bold, sweet, dank barley malt and hop resin (think brown bread crust and slightly rotted spinach). Taste is of sweet, strong malt and fairly bittern hop notes. Mouthfeel is medium, and Lagunitas Brown Shugga finishes puckering and strong, yet mellow.

RJT

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Photo of ordybill
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance was a clear reddish-orange with a medium sized white head. The aroma was a sweet malt experience. The taste had a sweet malt and bread combination.

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Photo of JimNeedsBrew
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very nice medium amber color with a finger of foam. This was a bit more bitter then I like but its definitely a full flavored beer. Didn't get much brown sugar but I enjoyed it none the less. Have a few more to get through. :-)

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Photo of brewaddict
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L - This beer pours a clear dark amber with a creamy white head and good lace.
S - Hints of citrus and pine. Also sweet caramel and brown sugar.
T - This is a unique beer. It starts off hoppy with grapefruit, pine, and lemon notes. After a few sips it gradually turns sweeter and sweeter. The strong hop front seems to lessen and a malty sweet brown sugar taste takes over.
F - This maybe a little on the thin side. It does have a nice dry finish.
O - This is an excellent amber ale. I've always been a fan of this beer. But, I like sweeter beers.

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Photo of Lahoi
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wow. An amazing beer. Way too easy to drink for a 10% ABV beer. In fact, it was so smooth I drank it much faster than I should have, and, along with the other beers I had, I felt it the next day. But it was worth it!

It's hard to compare this beer to others in the category because I've never had anything quite like it. It's so complex. Just when I thought I'd pinned down a flavor or note, I would detect something else. This is a slow, sipping beer like that of a barleywine or some stouts, especially those aged in bourbon barrels. Yet don't get me wrong: this beer isn't anything like a barleywine or a barrel ag d stout. Again, it's like nothing else I've enjoyed.

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Photo of NoYouDidnt
3.22/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pretty color on the pour. Beautiful ruby. Grassy hop aroma. Rubbing alcohol, an astringent smell, orange juice. Taste, again grassy hop flavors. Bitter with an alcohol presence. A spicy heat to it. Overall, I am just not a big fan of the American strong ale category in general. This is no real exception to that. It's caught in between an iPa, a barley wine, and maybe a Scottish ale. All of which can be delicious. Their three way love child is not my fav though.

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Photo of m4gdelen4
3.19/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a beautiful amber/copper color with a frothy finger head.

Smell is extremely sweet and alcoholic.

Taste is quite hoppy which in it's own way accentuates the sugary taste - cloying flavor. This beer is much better at about 9-11 months when the hoppiness and sugary qualities have faded enough to reveal a more balanced malt profile. It becomes a solid barleywine with a hint of sweetness.

IMO excellent for cellaring

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Photo of Buck89
4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful beer. Clear amber-copper color with a thick and lasting tan head. Nice spicy malty aroma. Clean bitterness framed by the malt and some caramel/toffee. Gentle warming and does not feel like a big ABV beer.

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Photo of LouZ
4.21/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

This went down way too easy for a strong ale! Poured dark brown, copper, with two fingers and great lacing out of a bottle. Aroma was not strong, but hinted at the sweetness to come. Taste was sweet malt with a nice brown sugar finish. Feel was smooth and easy, and you have no idea this is a 10% ABV. Dangerously good.

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Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,515 ratings.